Pre-pandemic construction industry trends focused primarily on improving worker safety and construction site efficiency. Innovative construction companies began exploring the benefits of augmented reality, wearable smart devices, and drones on their construction sites and projects. Following COVID-19, the industry had to find new ways to keep workers safe and healthy while adhering to safety regulations and social distancing protocols.
The solutions for these challenges most often took the form of technological advances in building information modeling (BIM), robotics, and worker safety. The following are some of the latest advancements in construction technology:
- Building Information Modeling (BIM). Planning a building is rarely a straightforward process. Engineers must coordinate with architects, stakeholders who need frequent updates, and clients provide regular input. Builders also affect the project timeline, as they need adequate time to order materials and schedule construction. BIM allows every contributor to make updates and view changes in real-time on a shared digital model. It digitizes the building lifecycle for greater collaboration, transparency, and efficiency while preventing delays due to avoidable conflicts.
- Blockchain technology. The construction industry is harnessing the power of blockchain technology in a few ways. Adding suppliers to a blockchain network allows construction managers to track materials and project advancements for the entire duration of the project. Smart contracts hold contractors and vendors accountable and keep construction projects on track. The contracts can also automate workflow by triggering the next phase of the project once predetermined conditions are met. The decentralized nature of blockchain technology allows for faster vetting, strict contract enforcement, and improved security. It also speeds up the payment process by eliminating the need for authorizations and processing fees.
- Robotics. Construction projects are rife with repetitive, tedious tasks, such as laying bricks and tying rebar. They are critical and necessary for any building construction, but they’re also prone to human error due to physical and mental fatigue. Construction robots can perform these tasks with greater efficiency and precision, which reduces construction worker risk. Construction managers can use robotics to program heavy equipment for demolition, excavation, and more. Automating these processes reduces the amount of labor required for the project. It also improves worker safety while completing the more hazardous phases of the project.
- Advanced building materials. Nearly every industry is exploring new ways to reduce its environmental impact. The construction industry’s approach to going green focuses on using sustainable materials. Some examples include 3D printed concrete, bioplastics, self-healing concrete, aerogel, mycelium composites, carbon composites, and more. Other materials focus on improving strength and biodegradability, such as bamboo and aluminum foam.
Project efficiency, sustainability practices, and worker safety are at the heart of the latest technological advances in construction. Many of these advancements reduce hazards on construction sites, but every project has unique risks. Windermere Insurance Group helps you identify and protect against exposures threatening the viability of your construction company. Contact us to learn how we can help reduce your construction business risks.